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Terrible People Explain "Bill Murray"

If you've ever been dumped, you know the therapeutic value of locking the doors, shuttering the windows, and losing your sorrow in a movie marathon. We've all got our favorites films and actors-- and for Cary Miller, who runs Surface to Air Records and fronts the rock band Terrible People -- Bill Murray is his go-to guy for cinema therapy.

The band's song, "Bill Murray," was spawned during a Murray Marathon.

"When I wrote it...I was going through something otherworldly and depressing," Miller says. "I had [the] Royal Tennenbaums on constant repeat. And then I kind of squinted at this scene with Gwyneth Paltrow and Bill Murray, where he's talking to her through the door while she's in the bathroom. From there I put on maybe 10 different movies of his in a row for 20 minutes at a time. Sat down...turned the TV off, and told myself 'Write a song in 15 minutes...about Bill Murray...every line has to be a different movie reference, and it has to tell a story.'"

"My friend and business partner Jason Jagoda (we're partners in Surface To Air Records), we had a friend who was unemployed, who also had a drug problem," Miller says. "He behaved like a zombie in real life. So, while I was working on the demo for "Bill" [we had] this conversation, and this guy was, just, out of his mind on pain killers. He tells me about how Verizon turned him down for a job, because he was 'overqualified for the position' with his eyes rolled up in the back of his head...And it just...clicked. I blinked and saw him as a zombie. So the next day, I tell Jason, 'What if we do a video for "Bill" where it's a zombie, who can't a get a job, going to interviews?'"

Miller contacted a friend, Lionel C. Martin, who had directed videos for Jay-Z, LL Cool J, TLC, R. Kelly , and more, about shooting the "Bil Murray" video.

"It was shot over Oscar weekend, and our makeup crew, who had previously worked on Wolfman were celebrating being part of the team that won the Oscar for Makeup & Effects," Miller says.

"Really surreal," he continues. "Jim Taveré, who played our Zombie has been a finalist in Last Comic Standing, written award winning sketches with Ricky Gervais, and had a supporting cast part in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." Miller adds that Taveré recently scored a role on Californication, as well.

The video has attracted attention to the band, even being listed on Bill Murray's Wikipedia page. "Hell," Miller says. "Our first show up in Lakeside, we had a couple kids ask us to sign a guitar because they loved that video. So...we must have done something right."

Terrible People is scheduled to perform Friday, October 7, at The Duce.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.